Lake Superior State University
Issues 2002 List of Banished Words
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. - Lake Superior State
University released its 27th annual List of Words Banished from the Queen's
English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness. The compilation draws
from hundreds of nominations received from all over the world by mail and
through the Internet. LSSU forms a committee in December to review the
year's entries and decide which of them will be included on the list.
Word-watchers pull nominations from everyday speech, as well as from the news,
fields of education, technology, advertising, politics, and more.
The complete 2002 list follows:
Politics and the Media
- "As in bombing a Red Cross building by
mistake?" - nominator from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.
FRIENDLY FIRE -- "Would unfriendly fire
be less painful?" - nominator from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
BRING THEM TO JUSTICE or BRING THE EVIL-DOERS
TO JUSTICE - "Practically every news reporter and our President has
uttered these words. Now, hearing this phrase is almost comical, even
under these most serious circumstances that profoundly affected my
hometown..." -- a proud New Yorker from Queens.
FAITH-BASED -- "All it means is religious
entities, but I presume 'faith-based organizations' will elicit less
recoil." - Michele Mooney, Van Nuys, California.
- "I'm just tired of hearing it. Bombard the
phrase with guided Missals." - Elaine Hampton, Burbank, California.
BI-PARTISANSHIP -- "Bipartisanship, to
most politicians, only seems to happen when one side gets its way and the
other goes along with it. I didn't vote for my guy to submit to the will
of the opposing party. I want lots of partisanship!" - Michael Bush,
Jersey City, New Jersey.
Anything modified by DOPPLER -- Stems from
when TV newscasts began using new doppler weather radar. Now 'doppler-fication'
has become a badge of excellence with local newscasts, regardless of
whether it involves weather. Even the stations are amused by it. The
Morning Crew at YES-FM in Sault Ste. Marie predicts sweet forecasts with
its "Hobbler-Dobbler-Peach-Cobbler." Claire Rynders of Madison,
Wisconsin, asks, "If my TV station uses 'Doppler 2001,' does that
mean weather forecasts are more accurate because it has bigger doppler?"
FRIG and FRIGGING - A sneaky way of getting a
version of the dreaded 'F' word on the radio and TV. Is there anything one
can't say on the airwaves these days? - Merri Carol Wozniak, Sault Ste.
NINE-ELEVEN (9-11) and its variations -- We
received many nominations for this annoying abbreviation that refers to
Sept. 11, 2001, the day terrorists attacked and killed thousands in New
York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania. Those who sent nominations said
they were in no way trying to make light of the day's events, or the
subsequent events. Most of them asked if finding a 'cute' abbreviation for
the day makes the attacks any easier to accept.
- "Last year, we had Y2K and 24-7. This
year, we have 9-11. This new digital language (digitalk?) should be banned
no later than 1-1-Y2K-2…Do we refer to the Chicago Fire as 10-8 because
it occurred on Oct. 8, 1871? How about the sinking of the Titanic - it is
not called 4-14. A tragic event of such proportion should not be confused
with a telephone number. The name will be remembered as long as there are
people who can read." - nominator from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.
- "I can't believe people are abbreviating
the worst act of war this country has seen since Pearl Harbor. I've never
heard anybody refer to the attack on Pearl Harbor as Twelve-Seven, or
12-7." - nominator from Colorado Springs, Colorado.
- "It was September 11." -- nominator
from Ishpeming, Michigan.
- "It's over-used and sounds ridiculous when
used to represent what happened on September 11. - nominator from Madison,
- "It's worse when people play on the
ambiguity with '911' in the emergency phone number context." -
nominator from Los Angeles, California.
IF…THEN THE TERRORISTS WIN or THE TERRORISTS
WILL HAVE WON - "Since Sept. 11, we've heard countless variations of
this phrase, usually from politicians, encouraging us to get back to our
normal way of life. It has become so over-used as to become almost
meaningless, especially when, for example, the Smallville Chamber of
Commerce says, 'If you don't come to the annual parade, then the
terrorists win.' I can't imagine al-Qaeda cares whether we attend
parades…Sorry to have taken up so much space, but if I can't complain
about things that bug me, then the terrorists will have won." -
nominator from Chicago, Illinois.
- "The phrase makes a mockery of those
extremely tragic events of that day." - nominator from Sault Ste.
- "It's used as a weasel-word, as in, 'There
might be some synergy between our companies,' instead of 'We want to make
some money off of you.' It's one of those words that's used by salespeople
the way a parrot uses profanities - they blather away without a clue as to
its meaning." - Gervase Webb, London, England.
- "A favorite of politicians and bureaucrats,
and used to make one sound smart. It comes from the Greek sunergos, which
means 'working together.' Why not just say that? I'll bet most people
using the word can't define it." - Ken Marten, Hamtramck, Michigan.
- "It's a blanket term used by people so they
won't have to actually articulate their business case in a meaningful
way." - T. Conte, Woodstock, Ontario.
RAMP UP - Often used to suggest an
increase in productivity or your product's effectiveness.
- "Whatever happened to the word 'increase'? -
Lance Rivers, Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
- "Whoever started it should be made to ramp up
(walk) the plank." - Howard E. Daniel, Kailua, Hawaii.
EDGY - "Supposedly referring to
creative work that is provocative and interesting, the word now has become
a signal that someone is trying to 'market' yet another piece of
contrivedly offensive hack work. We should limit the word to physical
things that have edges, such as an 'edgy coffee table.'" - Ron
LaLonde, Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada.
INFOMMERCIAL - "Is everyone else as
tired of this as I am? If a commercial lasts for 30 minutes, it's a
PROGRAM. It's also boring!" - John King, Oceanside, California.
MAKING MONEY -- As a caller into a radio
program on Detroit's WJR pointed out, only counterfeiters make money.
Honest people earn it.
'BOTS -- A fashionable construction that
refers to robots. "Please restore the neglected 'ro-'," pleads
Bob Forrest of Tempe, Arizona.
Does Not Compute
- POSSIBLE CHOICES - "No need to include
the impossible choices, I'm sure."
- FOREWARN - "But if not, then warn
after the fact."
- UNPRECEDENTED NEW - "Not to be
confused with the unprecedented old one."
- RENAME IT SOMETHING ELSE - "Be sure
not to rename it the same name."
- DELAY DUE TO AN EARLIER ACCIDENT -
"Now in standard use…As distinguished from the delay caused by an
accident yet to occur."
FORESEEABLE FUTURE - Just how long is
foreseeable? "What about the unforeseeable future?" ponders
James Hartman from Winnipeg, Manitoba.
CONTACT: Tom Pink 906-635-2315, firstname.lastname@example.org
OR John Shibley, 906-635-2314, email@example.com
Lake Superior State University is Michigan's smallest public university with an
enrollment of just over 3000 students. It is known for its academic programs
such as fisheries and wildlife management, engineering, teacher education,
nursing, geology, business management, and criminal justice. For admissions
information, go to LSSU's web site: www.lssu.edu.
LSSU accepts nominations for the Word Banishment list throughout the year. To
submit your nomination for the 2003 list, go to www.lssu.edu/banished.